2003 Limited - Planet Express Build Thread - Page 6 - JeepForum.com
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post #76 of 99 Old 02-06-2020, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Also picked up a new toy and trailer to tow behind the jeep after moving back to the mountains...now we just need some snow!

08 Ski-Doo Summit X with next gen skis, shocks, track and lots of other mods. Came with a rebuilt engine and the original engine that's hopped up. Unfortunately the OG engine suffered from a damaged oil line and will need some TLC if I expect to get it running again but that'll be way down the road.

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post #77 of 99 Old 04-23-2021, 06:03 PM Thread Starter
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Guess I haven't posted any updates in quite a while!

Engine finally dropped a valve at just shy of 300K, got a reman from Powertrain Products almost ready to go back in but working on suspension upgrades and axle swap stuff before it will find it's place back in the engine bay.

As of today here's what's been completed over the last month or so;
  • Trail Forged front Frame Stiffeners are burned in, need a little cleaning up then tack on the new coil mounts for cycle testing.
  • Mocked up the front Dana 60 and rear Sterling 10.5 from a 2008 F350 just to check all the bracketry, looks like I'll be moving the LCA's on the rear axle inward an inch or so and the coil mounts on the axle outward more since it was initially setup for a JK.
  • Engine is near complete aside from the adapter for the 99-04 throttle body to the 08 intake
  • Heat wrapped the bottom side of the 08 intake manifold
  • Heat wrapped the fuel rail, need to start planning for the "Dune Rail" mod to even out the fuel pressure in both rails. I'll probably end up going the route on a second fuel rail so that I can place an fittings in the middle of both rails for the most even pressure/flow/heat dissipation.
  • Gotta drain the gas tank this weekend so I can drop it to burn in the rear frame stiffeners, cut the spare wheel well out and start working on the tank tuck.
  • 2x6 0.250" DOM set aside for sliders, still no final design but once it's on it's own weight again I'll start chunking away at that.
  • Waiting on some recently released wheels to be in stock so I can get the new meats on it and cycle test all the suspension modifications before finalizing

Honestly the stiffeners aren't as bad to work with as everyone makes them out to be. Difficult to keep clean lines while burning on butI managed to get both of these fully welded in about 1hr a piece. Not considering the prep work or cleaning up some of the welds that ran off on me due to poor visibility and lighting. Can't win em all right.

Guess that's the quick and dirty update. Here's some photos to accompany.
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post #78 of 99 Old 07-15-2021, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Let's see...a handful of updates for today;

Sold my factory axles, LSR bumper and a few other small parts that have helped fund some of the current progress.
  • Got a Trail Forged high clearance bumper on oder that just shipped out today. I'll probably start the prep work on cutting the unibody up for it before putting the engine back in just for some additional clearance.
  • As far as the engine goes, just short the throttle body adapter for the 08 intake and I'm doing my best not to fork out $300 to Air Ram for one. There's another I found on ebay from a seller called "chickenheadgarage" that offers them for under $200, $100 is $100 right!
  • Rear frame stiffeners are in, coil spring mounts are tacked up awaiting cycling, rear axle has a bit more work to go on cleanup and bracket placement after shaving off all the JK stuff. Luckily IRO started selling truss kits for the Sterling 10.5 and it's gonna take a lot of the guess work for bracket placement off my hands.
  • Sterling still needs the ring gear shaved, just been lazy to ship it out.
  • Both front and rear axles still pending all the seals and rebuilds, finishing welding first before putting internals in for now.
  • Cleaned up and rebuilt the front axles, I opted to keep the "dust/vacuum" shields that attach to the stub shafts for additional debris protection. If they become a hassle on the trail I'll do away with them.
  • Got the TMR high steer kits started on the knuckles but decided I'm gonna take em to a friend of mine whom is a professional welder to finish up for the sake of safety and peace of mind.
  • Steering parts are on order (With exception of 4 more TMR lifetime heims as my old ones were 3/4 and I'm moving up to 7/8" with all new DOM tubing)
  • Turned the rear hubs down in my old man's lathe, press-fit the JK Tone rings from Artec on and gave em a couple tacks to stay in place. Will be running 2 sensors per wheel as of right now.
  • Track Bar/Panhard - Undecided if I'll use the Barnes outside mount or fork out for the TMR JK 1 ton swap bracket, pitman arm clearance is very tight right now, would be nice to have a little more room.
  • Current wheelbase is stretched ~4", might try to push it a hair more. Need to shift the rear crossmember back a little to shorten up the exposed link threads.
  • KMC Grenade Beadlocks came in the other week, picked up a free manual Coates tire machine and got em all mounted up and balanced w/ceramic beads and new TPMS

Aside from some other small things like new front hub assemblies, ball joints, camber/caster sleeves, seals, lug nuts, etc. That about catches things up. Decided I'm no longer in a hurry, especially since I'm pulling ~20+mpgs in the XJ as my daily and insurance is much cheaper with the dub down for now. Saving money and bleeding money simultaneously lol

Still looking for a good source on loom rated for temperatures in an engine bay. I would prefer to use the split nylon so that debris can be washed out vs packed in with traditional plastic split loom. If anyone has a source that's not lambo pricing shoot it my way please. Even better if said source has color options.
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post #79 of 99 Old 07-19-2021, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Decided I was gonna start working on the Trail Forged Bumper with the High Clearance Wings today in order to open up the engine bay a bit more so it's easier to get the trans assembly out and put the engine back in with it assembled now that the front cross member is out.

Still have a lot of finish welding to do but working on the mock up and angles little by little first.



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post #80 of 99 Old 07-22-2021, 11:57 AM
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Looking sexy af! Hoping I can get my TF bumpers done at some point.

04 WJ, 4.7HO
3" IRO lift, fastman TB, 32s, lunchbox rear 242HD, 3" exhaust
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post #81 of 99 Old 09-01-2021, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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After a month or so of dragging a** on this project I finally made some progress on the rear end. If I haven't been short on time while trying to evenly balance it between my little cabin on the mountainside or working on the jeep the fires in Northern CA seem to put a cramp in both.

Anywho, managed to get the tank tuck done (less some seam sealer and filler neck routing), brackets tacked up, rear axle in place, jeep at ride height, studied the hell out of sterling 10.5 swaps and the 4-link calculator in order to get this far. No binding that I could manage to find even with wheels and tires off for more articulation in the garage. I have reason to believe, though I haven't put in numbers for all the off the shelf kits, that my modified setup will have better geometry and cycling than any off the shelf long arm kits you can buy. Total of 9" on uptravel, without tires mounted obviously, downtravel was limited by good ol' earth but there's more than the garage floor will allow. The only part I didn't really plan too much on, or really at all, was the gas tank to rear end clearance, with the axle raised from the center diff at full stuff I clear it by maybe 1/16-1/8" of an inch but let's be honest here, the likelihood of you stuff an axle like that is little to none unless you're taking hard hit compressions at fast speeds, i.e. whoop eatin...I plan on eatin some whoops but few and far between all other types of activities the jeep is being built for.

Used a couple pieces of 6061 aluminum I had laying around for straight edges to measure off of. Plumb bobs hung from the upper coil buckets and ran a tape form the old LCA mount to the axle for placement reference points.

I ended up using the Barnes4x4 2-5/8 10 degree mounts for the rear LCAs, took a little finessing to work with the angles of the IRO rear LCAs but got er done. Of course shortly after that I would notice that IRO has a sterling kit with LCA brackets that would increase my link separation by 1-2" more than my current 9"...so now, naturally, I'm contemplating changing out the brackets I just spent so much time on in order to get more link separation in forethought for larger tires. 37s would be the next goal with a max of 40s but that means body trimming....decisions, decisions.

Still waiting on the front knuckles to come back from a friend who is welding the high steer arms on for me. Unfortunately he's been caught up in the time, fire, family and sick wagon this last month and it's really all I need to get her rolling again aside from building out the steering linkage. Thinking once I get the knuckles back and that all done things will start moving at a much quicker rate.

Starting to think rear bump stop placement is gonna be more of a hassle than I initially thought though. Was planning on placing them in the coils...makes for a really tight package and getting the spring on will be a *****...so I'm thinkin 1 of 3 other options; 1; Forward of the coil spring on outboard frame side. 2; Rearward of the coil spring on outward frame side. 3; Internal frame side aligned with coil springs (unibody integrity concerns with inward mounting like that though, would have to beef up a bit and maybe build another crossmember)...open to ideas and comments on how others have packaged hydo bumps in the rear of their WJs on tons
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post #82 of 99 Old 09-22-2021, 01:11 PM Thread Starter
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While waiting on my knuckles to get back to me, hopefully today, I opted to cut my rockers out and fully commit to building my 2x6 1/4" wall sliders during the downtime. Here's some progress pictures.

I started out by using a scrap piece of 6061 aluminum that was 6ft long, 1" wide and 3/8" thick and clamped it to the body while keeping it aligned with the bottom of the doors. Then I marked with a paint marker, cut with a cutoff wheel, removed the foam with a couple spatulas and long screwdrivers, smoothed the metal out with a grinder and wire brushed to clean up.

The 2x6 slider has about 3-1/4" poke from the body the way I plan on mounting them. There are 2 different routes you can go to get here, after cutting the initial rocker open you can either A) cut the second layer out (I did this on the drivers side and kind of regret it) or B) smash in the second layer with a BFH or air chisel. Which I opted to do on the passenger side to retain some integrity. DO NOT CUT OR MODIFY your B-Pillar, you should clearance for it instead as shown in the pictures.

I have some more clearancing to do, just going little by little to be careful. Goal is to make the ends similar to the HK Glissade angles and add some high lift points on the underside as well.

I plan on burning these to the pinch weld they're butted up to, fold the pinch weld over then stitch that to the underside of the sliders. Also looking to plate the factory "outriggers" and tie into the sliders.
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post #83 of 99 Old 09-27-2021, 11:20 AM Thread Starter
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Decided to hold off on progress for the sliders as I may be getting some tie in brackets from Alpine Precision Works that gusset the factory "outriggers" but would require the sliders moved in further.

Got my knuckles back the other weekend and got some work done on them before I took off for the weekend. I know, ball joints, would have liked to go with eliminators but just wasn't in the budget for now. However, I just saw over the weekend that Josh is working on a set of BJE's that ae press in vs weld in. Pretty sure I'll end up going that route if he does indeed launch them for the 05+ D60 as mentioned in his FB post.

TMR High Steer brackets and7/8s TMR Lifetime Heims for the steering linkage. Only issue I've run into is that the BS on my KMC Grenades is a little shy and unfortunately I'll need to run a 1/4" or larger spacer to clear the high steer. Sadly I just couldn't get the BS/Offset that I wanted in the KMCs as options were fairly limited for 8x170s at the time of purchase.

Oh, also learned that the 05+ locking hubs aren't really meant to be serviced but I managed to disassemble them, clean em up, paint em and put back together without any issues.
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post #84 of 99 Old 09-27-2021, 07:55 PM Thread Starter
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Ended up workin on steering a bit today. Mostly because I'd like to have the front and rear sitting on it's own weight to pull the trans and tcase in order to bolt up to the engine and put in as an entire assembly. Started with some white PVC and straps to get my lengths, cut the DOM and added a root weld to get going. Will need to circle back for the final passes on the linkage ends.

So far clearances are tight but they clear, still on the fence about the Barnes outside panhard bracket vs the TMR offset one for the JK, may still end up swapping out it as the clearance is literally paper thin during cycle.
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post #85 of 99 Old 09-28-2021, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Oh wow, I guess I totally spaced the update on the rear end before I started working on the sliders! Anywho, got the bumps packaged just how I wanted them, only part to work out is the axle side pads, which I'm planning on marking out of the lower coil retainers. I welded a nut to the bottom side of the plate (not pictured here, hardware is still poking though in the pictures to give you an idea what and where I'm talkin about) and a bolt to the spring perches so the spring retainer threads on. Still need to cut them down a bit on the diameter but I think, think is the keyword here, they'll work out. If not, I'll just raise the center section of the spring perch and cap it as is fairly common on a lot of builds.

Main springs are Clayton 6" dual rates, followed by the Xerofab coil stabilizers, which consist of a helper spring from Eibach and a slider that aligns itself on a 2.5" DOM collar. A threaded can is welded into the DOM that allows the Caborn Technologies hydro bump stops to thread in for fine adjustment...FYI...it sucks threading these in a out, tons of adjustment, pretty much nothing other than a hassle once you have the main springs in place to thread in and/or adjust haha.

Currently the helper spring is limited by the slip collar length as seen in the photos but once I pull the rear axles for finish welds, paint and gearing I'll pop the collars in my lathe and turn them down on the lower spring retention side by ~50% for 1-2" more of spring engagement on the helper side of things. The Carbon bumps are a nitrogen charged unit, ~250psi, these rear ones are a 2"stroke, where every 3rd stroke gets progressively firmer until rebound on the final 3rd. For those considering using nitrogen bumps, I might suggest you look at a pin top mount over threaded cans as the threads are vey fragile and easy to mess up...ask me how I know...

After I was happy with the placement, not pictured here, I gave everything a coat of Steel-it followed by a coat of duplicolor rubberized undercoating in all the fender wells and stiffeners. Eventually I'll coat the fender wells and underside with some type of liner or chassis saver.

Goal for today is to start working on pulling the trans and t-case. Crack the t-case for inspection and possibly add a fluid sight tube (similar to an atlas) while it's out. I don't believe the case exerts enough pressure to worry about tapping or blowing lines on.
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post #86 of 99 Old 09-28-2021, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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Welp. Got the trans and t-case pulled, washed and started cleaning up gasket surfaces.

Got a PML Covers pan for the 545rfe that'll give me the addition of a drain plug/fumoto valve as well as a trans temp bung.

Should have it mated up to the engine and back in the jeep within the next two weeks if all goes to plan!
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post #87 of 99 Old 10-02-2021, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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Managed to just clear the garage door opening and get her out for a belly wash and straightened out in the garage again for the ease of putting the engine and trans assembly back in on solid, flat ground.

Gotta adjust the wire harness some for the wire tuck but I'm gonna get the engine in the bay first to make sure my current routing reaches the bulkhead connectors on the firewall.

Also got the trans mounted up to the 4.7 today. Hoping to shoot it back in the jeep tomorrow if all goes well!
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post #88 of 99 Old 10-05-2021, 08:11 AM
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Fan-Tastic work my man. You’re an artist of off road vehicle capability. 8-)

For a WEAK and IGNORANT sheople, SERF-dom is a Reward, not a Curse. W1CCW
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post #89 of 99 Old 10-06-2021, 03:42 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leadsled jeep View Post
Fan-Tastic work my man. You’re an artist of off road vehicle capability. 8-)
Thanks! Definitely got in way too deep before it was too late to turn back haha. In the end I'll have a brand new custom jeep!

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post #90 of 99 Old 10-06-2021, 06:37 PM
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Understood. I did something similar to a Fox body Mustang. My WJ Jeep is only mildly modded in the suspension area as she’s 99.9% street anyway.

For a WEAK and IGNORANT sheople, SERF-dom is a Reward, not a Curse. W1CCW
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